Italy's Artifacts Police Wage Global War, Recover 137,000 Objects
“Culture commandos” combine the roles of archaeologists, paleontologists, art historians, and combat-trained shock troops.
By Frank Viviano, National Geographic
PUBLISHED June 19, 2015
MORGANTINA, Sicily—Three thousand years ago, this broad ridge 50 miles west of Mount Etna was the perch of a magnificent city. Its monumental architecture and refined art, its irrigation systems and agricultural wealth, made it a leading Mediterranean power half a millennium before the rise of Imperial Rome.
Today, most of its wonders lie under acres of wild fennel and oleander. In several hours amid the ruins, this reporter encountered only five tourists, two unpaid volunteers, and not a single guard or maintenance worker. Ancient Morgantina is among archaeology’s most neglected secrets.